In 2000 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was established to help regulate and improve safety standards in the trucking industry. The FMCSA has laws in place that must be followed by all truck drivers and trucking companies in the U.S.
Unfortunately, even with these specific federal rules, trucking accidents still occur and many of these accidents are due to drivers or trucking companies knowingly violating safety regulations. When commercial drivers act negligently and fail to follow the rules, they put other drivers at risk for serious injuries and death.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to another driver’s negligence, we at Mike Agruss Law are here for you every step of the way to ensure that your rights are protected, and you are fully compensated for your injuries and losses.
Common Trucking Regulations Violations
The rules that regulate the trucking industry are intended to keep safe trucks on the road that are being operated by safe drivers and safe trucking companies. These regulations are generally organized into four different categories, which include:
Hours of Service Rules
Tired drivers are unable to drive safely, often making poor decisions or falling asleep at the wheel. Because of the risks of fatigued driving, the FMCSA regulations dictate the amount of time a truck driver is allowed to be driving and how often they must take breaks. These rules state:
- A truck driver must take at least one 30-minute break after every 8 hours on the road;
- A truck driver must stop driving after 14-hours on duty and then take a 10-hour break;
- During those 14-hours, including their breaks, they cannot drive more than 11-hours;
- When a driver is on-duty, they cannot drive more than 60-hours in a 7-day period or 70-hours in an 8-day period;
- After this period on-duty, a truck driver must stay off-duty for at least 34-hours straight.
Commercial trucks run for thousands of miles a year and maintenance standards are in place to ensure that these trucks are safe. Like every other vehicle, trucks need to have proper upkeep, including but not limited to:
- Fans and belts
- Fuel tanks, hoses, and mountings
- Oil level
- Coupling devices
The FMCSA limits the weight of large trucks to 80,000-pounds for interstate travel. Trucks over this limit are more difficult to control and stop effectively, and the more weight a truck has, the more stress and strain that is put on tires and axles, increasing the risk for breakdown and accidents.
The FMCSA also regulates how cargo is to be loaded and secured. If cargo is loaded improperly and the center of gravity is too high, it can make controlling the truck more difficult, causing jackknife or rollover accidents.
The FMCSA regulates who can be hired as a truck driver. Hiring a driver with frequent DUI/DWI’s, poor driving records, or other moving violations that make them unsafe drivers is illegal and puts other drivers at-risk for serious injuries or death.
All truck drivers must meet FMCSA regulations to be considered safe to drive. These include things such as a valid CDL for 18-wheelers, the ability to understand and read English, a valid medical examination, and passing random drug/alcohol and background checks.
Hiring a truck driver with a poor driving record or allowing them to continue driving with violations is negligent and can provide additional compensation for a truck accident victim.
If you or a loved one was involved in a truck accident, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to review your case and determine if there were any violations of safety regulations that may have contributed to your accident.
We at Mike Agruss Law are proud to serve our fellow citizens in personal injury cases, especially when you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, and we are fully committed to protecting your rights and ensuring that the other party is held legally accountable when negligence occurs. We will fight until the very end to ensure that you are fully compensated for all injuries and losses resulting from the accident, including medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering, and you won’t owe us a dime for our services.
We see you as a person, not just a client – and that makes us better at work we do. We listen. We learn your story. And, as we help you get the money you deserve, we go above and beyond in a way most law firms never could and never would. Because we’re not just lawyers. And you’re not just a client. We’re friends, neighbors, family. We’re all people and here at Mike Agruss Law, we put People, First.
Helping our clients is about counseling, advocating, and ultimately solving problems. With years of experience successfully representing the people, not the powerful, we will take care of the insurance adjusters, your medical bills, your property damage, your lost wages, and monitor your treatment so you can focus on healing and getting your life back to normal. Our unique formula has earned us over 900 outstanding client reviews on our website, an A+ BBB rating, and over 120 five-star reviews on Google. Call 888-572-0176, e-mail us at [email protected], or schedule meeting with us here. We’re here 24/7.